If you are a marketer and lack familiarity with the data privacy regulations like the GDPR, it can hurt your business in more ways than one. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has closely monitored and scrutinised marketing activities in the UK to ensure their compliance with the GDPR. As a marketer, you would want to make sure you don’t get in trouble with the law enforcement authorities.

If you are interested in getting a clear picture of the data privacy regulations that apply to your marketing activities and learning about best practices for protecting your best interests, you have come to the right page! In this article, we will share everything you need to know about ensuring the marketing consent you have collected is in line with the GDPR. But before we dive in, let’s understand what GDPR is, why marketers need to comply with it, and the various obligations they need to fulfil.

What Is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was enacted by the European Union and enforced in 2018. The goal of this regulation was to support the public’s right to data privacy by preventing the misuse of the personal data of any individual in the name of a marketing activity.

Why Are Marketers Obligated To Maintain Compliance With GDPR?

To ensure that marketers are careful about handling the personal data of their data subjects safely and don’t misuse them for additional gains, the law enforcement agencies, and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), ensure that the GDPR has been adequately enforced and any marketer who is found guilty of not properly complying with the regulation faces penalties and legal issues. Marketers need to keep in mind that if one or more of their data subjects resides in the European Union or the UK, they are obligated to comply fully with the GDPR. This means that the obligations to maintain compliance are not restricted to just the organisation operating in the European Union or the UK but across the globe if their customers include anyone residing in these regions. If the company is actively trading in the EU, it may need an external GDPR representative to achieve compliance.

Various Obligations Marketers Need To Fulfil To Maintain Their Compliance With GDPR

There are several limitations that the GDPR imposes on marketing activities, specifically concerning the use of personal data in marketing campaigns. Considering that the Data Protection Act and the UK GDPR have been mandated to safeguard the data protection rights and data privacy of the individuals residing in the UK, marketers need to have a valid lawful basis for collecting personal data and its legal use and processing in any way. Plus, they need to have a designated data protection officer or an outsourced DPO to ensure these obligations are met.

Apart from this, marketers also need to inform their data subjects on how exactly the personal data collected will be used in the future and how they can choose to share their non-consent if they ever wish to stop receiving marketing communication from them. Most importantly, marketers need to ensure that the personal data they have collected and valid consent has been stored safely in their marketing databases. Therefore, no one with bad intentions can access these databases.

Five Things Every Business Should Know About GDPR Marketing Consent

Marketing consent is a prerequisite for gaining the lawful basis required for any marketing activity. However, with the UK GDPR in force, marketers need to collect and store valid consent from the data subjects to maintain compliance with the data protection and privacy regulations. The following points define what’s meant by valid consent very clearly:

  1. Consent should be provided willingly by the user and not gained forcefully as a condition or prerequisite for receiving access to the products or services.
  2. The user should take an affirmative action that confirms their consent.
  3. The opt-in mechanism should have any questionable features, such as checkboxes.
  4. The consent should be just for a specific clause and not combined or bundled with other clauses or objectives.
  5. The users should be fully informed about the purpose of your requesting the consent and the nature and frequency of marketing communication they should expect from you in the future.

We hope this article helped you understand how the GDPR applies to marketing activities and the importance of obtaining valid consent as the lawful basis for your business collecting, processing and storing personal data of your users, clients or customers. By maintaining compliance with the GDPR, you can avoid the legal hassles and ensure business continuity and peace of mind. If you’re unsure about any of the steps involved, it’s best to get assistance from a reputed consultancy that offers data protection services.

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As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.